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Iowa Legislature to suspend action as a COVID-19 precaution

DES MOINES — The 2020 Iowa legislative session will be suspended for at least 30 days due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Leaders of the Iowa House and Senate made the announcement late Sunday afternoon. According to a news release, the decision was made to protect older people and those with underlying health conditions who would otherwise have to work in the state Capitol.

It came after Saturday night’s announcement that a person in central Iowa tested positive for COVID-19 and public health investigators do not know how that person contracted the virus.

The House and Senate will convene today to take action on legislation to ensure there’s no disruption in state government services to Iowans.

Governor Reynolds on Saturday night asked Iowans not to hold or attend large gatherings and consider cancelling smaller gatherings involving people in high-risk groups.

“And all Iowans should be prepared for cancellations and disruptions in routine activities,” Reynolds said in a news conference at 8:30 Saturday night.

The governors of Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota have taken steps to close schools. Reynolds said school closings have a ripple effect and she’s not yet making that call here.

“While we are not recommending school closures at this time, this is a very fluid situation,” Reynolds said Saturday night. “We need to pay close attention to the number of cases in school, community and the daily circumstances at each school.”

Hear all of what the governor had to say late Saturday night about the COVID-19 situation here in Iowa.

Visitors are now barred from the state’s prisons as a precaution to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside the corrections system. Court officials announced this weekend all jury trials that have not yet started are postponed. State Auditor Rob Sand has told all the employees in his office to work from home.

Many churches cancelled Sunday services and many entertainment venues have announced the cancellation of concerts and other events that had been scheduled this month.

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